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Old 03-15-02, 11:22 PM   #1
Dahon.Steve
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Look at this commuter bike

I can't believe things are getting this electronic.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/outd...e_with_brains/

1. "But you haven't moved a derailleur lever, pushed a shift button or even thought about shifting gears."

I don't know but this bike reminds me of "AutoBike". You remember that infomercial about a bike that shifted by itself. Only people found out that it was a cheaply made bike from China and a maintenance disaster.

2. "The cog change is totally automatic, controlled by a computer. Bikes with brains could well be the future of cycling, with an on-board computer controlling front and rear derailleur shifting and also suspension firmness."

It sounds like the son of autobike. Still. I like the concept but unless you park it inside, there is no way you can leave this bike outside.

3. The components are made by Shimano, one of the biggest names in the cycling business."

Just because Shimano makes the components means nothing.


4. "The brain of the Di2 system is a computer that's buried in the bowels of Shimano's Flight Deck. The Flight Deck is a nifty handlebar-mounted unit"

Sounds like a cycle computer to me.


5. "A Suspension Mode Selector switch lets you choose an automatic suspension control or you can manually set hard or soft damping for both front and rear. Lastly, a Shift Mode Selector switch gives you the option of a manual shifting mode via handlebar-mounted shift buttons that activate the electronically controlled derailleurs, or three automatic shift modes for slow, normal and fast riding."


Now what happens if your "compter" runs out of battery power and your stuck in high gear? Walk to the closest A&P?
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Old 03-16-02, 04:16 AM   #2
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Definitely the spawn of auto-bike. I wonder if it's as heavy. It's nice to see bicycle technology being developed for riders who aren't "hardcore" racers and down-hillers. I'm not sure if this transmission will catch on but it's an interesting effort.
I'd like to see a practical and compact design for signal and brake lights somewhere in the not too distant future.
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Old 03-16-02, 06:49 AM   #3
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It seems a bit expensive for what is a pretty basic system - motor transducers and optical sensors (probably LSDs) controlled by a microcontroller shifting a standard derailleur system.

You'd only need an 8 bit microcontroller with about 16k to do this.
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Old 03-16-02, 08:01 AM   #4
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The frame looks pretty cool, a carbon fibre utility bike with integral fenders and rack. I didnt see any lights, but they may be hidden inside the controller module and the rack.

I can see this going the same way as cameras. You need a huge instruction manual to help you figure out which gear changing mode you should be in.

Sachs developed an electronic gear changer unit for their hub gear a few years ago, and of course there is Mavic Zapp.
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Old 03-16-02, 08:06 AM   #5
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Looks like the kind of bike my son needs. He is learning disabled and can't get the hang of shifting gears. Consequently he always rides in the same gear.

He will never be able to drive a car so rides his bike, walks, uses public transportation, or relies on family, friends, and co-workers for rides.
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Old 03-16-02, 09:22 AM   #6
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The stumbling block is cost. Di2 goodies kick up the price of a comfort bike to about the $1500 level.
The writer is obviously out of the loop when it comes to bike pricing. Or is it me?
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Old 03-16-02, 10:44 AM   #7
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and also suspension firmness
Remember K2's "smart shock"? Same thing, gone the way of the dodo.

People wont buy a $1500 confort bike, even if its marketed as a high-technology commuter. Remember Treks "Urban Assult Vehicle" line of cross/commuter bikes? $1200 carbon-fiber uav-1 was the top of the line model. Stopped making them a year later.
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Old 03-16-02, 12:18 PM   #8
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Originally posted by RonH
Looks like the kind of bike my son needs. He is learning disabled and can't get the hang of shifting gears. Consequently he always rides in the same gear.
You should try out a hub-geared bike for your son. Both Sachs and Shimano make nice 5 and 7 speed models, with an easy to use click-stop lever.
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Old 03-18-02, 08:39 PM   #9
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Well, it looks interesting, but I agree with people who have said that it would probably be a maintance headache. This is the kind of thing that will be purchased and then left in the garage.

andy
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